The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 6, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, a U.N. truce negotiator this date said that no progress had been made toward an armistice following the rejection by the Communists of a proposal to free 32,000 North Korean prisoners who refused to repatriate. The Communists again ignored the nomination by the U.N. Command of Pakistan as a neutral custodian of 48,500 prisoners who had indicated a desire not to repatriate to their Communist homelands, despite the Communists having included Pakistan among the acceptable neutral nations the prior Saturday. Instead, the chief Communist negotiator, General Nam Il, said that the allied proposal was "void of reason" and "unworthy of refutation". He reiterated the Communist demand that the prisoners not desiring repatriation be shipped to the designated neutral nation and that the functions of that nation be determined before deciding which nation would occupy that role. The chief U.N. negotiator, Lt. General William Harrison, suggested that the 32,000 North Koreans be freed immediately after a truce was signed and that they be given civilian status so that they could settle anywhere in Korea. He made no reference to the Chinese captives refusing repatriation, leading some observers to speculate that the U.N. Command might be willing to compromise on a plan whereby the Chinese prisoners would be sent to the neutral custodial nation while the Koreans remained in Korea. General Nam indicated that the allies had taken a step backward with their proposal, discarding the principle on which both sides had already agreed, that a neutral nation would be named to determine the fate of the prisoners indicating a lack of desire for repatriation.

Secretary of State Dulles said this date that the U.S. was consulting with several allies on a possible appeal to the U.N. for action in dealing with the Communist-led Vietminh invasion of Laos. He said that the attack did not even pretend to be a revolutionary effort but was "straight military aggression". He indicated that a successful extension of the attack to Thailand would mean a threat to Burma and Indonesia, and could make the future of Japan "extremely precarious". He said present plans to put Japan on a self-supporting basis contemplated development of Japanese trade with Southeast Asia, and that should that area succumb to aggression, the U.S. might have to permit Japanese trade with the Communist mainland or be willing to spend a great deal more money than presently allocated for Japanese economic support. High U.S. officials reported earlier this date that Secretary Dulles had told the Thai Ambassador to the U.S. that there would be sympathetic consideration to a Thai request for expansion of arms aid to that country.

The Secretary told the House Foreign Affairs Committee this date that he could foresee "considerable reductions" in future appropriations for foreign aid, and that substantial reductions had already been planned. Mutual Security Agency head Harold Stassen provided the basis for the Administration's budget recommendations for foreign aid to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay, testifying before the House Ways & Means Committee, said this date that a proposal backed by influential House Republicans to curb oil imports could impair national security and have very serious effects on the economy. He, as had other Administration witnesses, urged a one-year extension of the Reciprocal Trade Act, set to expire June 30, pending a study of trade issues by a special Presidential commission.

In New York, songwriter Jay Gorney and actor Lionel Stander refused this date to disclose to HUAC whether they had ever been Communists, Mr. Stander refusing to say whether he had been a member during the period 1935 to 1948, but indicating that he was not presently a member. The counsel for the Committee had told Mr. Gorney, author of "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", that a witness had identified him and his wife as having been members of the party in Hollywood, and inquired whether he had been a member during the period 1944 to 1948, at which point Mr. Gorney, whose counsel was future New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug, famous for her many hats, took the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify on the grounds that it might incriminate him, as well relying on his First Amendment right of association and Sixth Amendment rights to call witnesses in his behalf and cross-examine accusatory witnesses—normally subsumed under Fifth Amendment or Fourteenth Amendment Due Process. He also declined to testify regarding knowledge of the Communist Party in Hollywood. He told the Committee that he had discovered Shirley Temple and had written a song for her, "Baby Take a Bow". The chairman of the Committee, Representative Harold Velde of Illinois, had reported that a witness before the Committee, who had named several persons in the New York City schools as Communists, had been threatened with bodily harm after testifying the prior Monday that she had been a member of a teachers' cell of the party for a number of years. Mr. Velde warned that any further threat of bodily harm to her would be referred to the FBI for investigation.

In Washington, Millen Brand, whose books were used for U.S. propaganda purposes, refused to testify before the Senate Investigations subcommittee at a televised public hearing, when asked whether he had ever engaged in "treasonable activities", was a Soviet spy, or whether he would fight in the Korean War or against Russia if there were a war between the Soviet Union and the U.S. He insisted that he was a good, loyal citizen after Senator Charles Potter of Michigan said that his answer represented sheer "gall".

In another hearing, the Senate Internal Security subcommittee was questioning Charles Kramer, a former Government employee and presently a research economist for the Progressive Party, as he refused to answer questions regarding whether he had ever been a Communist or Soviet spy while working for the U.S. Government. He said that his first Federal job had been with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in 1933 and that he later worked for other Government agencies and three Senate committees, his last job having been in 1945-46 as a staff member of a Senate Health and Education subcommittee, headed by former Senator Claude Pepper of Florida.

The Interstate Commerce Commission this date authorized the Southern Railway Co. to split its preferred and common stock on a two-for-one basis.

In New York, the Armed Services Textile and Apparel Procurement Agency this date announced the award of a $2,038,695 contract to Cannon Mills of Kannapolis, N.C., for 3,531,429 square yards of poplin.

Off Harwich, England, nearly 500 persons, including dozens of Americans, most of whom were servicemen stationed in Germany and on their way back to England on leave, had been rescued at sea this date after abandoning a ferry from Holland to England, which had been severely damaged in a predawn collision with a U.S. Government freighter. The freighter had picked up scores of passengers from the ferry. A total of 436 passengers and 56 crewmen were saved, and a skeleton crew of 15 remained aboard the ferry as it moved toward port behind two tugs. There were no known fatalities in the collision, occurring 40 miles off Harwich on the east coast of England.

In London, John Christie, the trucking clerk accused of murdering four women and secreting their and two other bodies in and around his London apartment, entered a plea of not guilty and was committed for trial.

Near Albemarle, N.C., six youthful prisoners escaped from the Stanly County Prison Camp and eluded pursuing officers throughout the night, despite use of bloodhounds. The six had staged a fight in their cell block and then escaped through a door when the night guard had gone to investigate. They scaled a fence surrounding the camp and departed.

On the Isle of Capri in Italy, actress Lana Turner and actor Lex Barker arrived for a vacation this date, with their impending marriage having been rumored for some time.

In Houston, the Southern Baptist Convention opened during the morning, and the chances of Dr. C. C. Warren of Charlotte's First Baptist Church appeared very good for being elected to the presidency. If so, it would be the first time that a North Carolina pastor had been so elected in the Convention's 108-year history. The Baptists heard a speech this date by Dr. J. D. Grey, the current president of the Convention, in which he said that Southern Baptists were being pressured by two conflicting forces, united Protestantism and the "anything-ism of non-denominationalism".

Ism, ism, ism...

In San Francisco, singer Mary Ann McCall pleaded guilty to possession of narcotics the previous day and afterward told reporters, "The H-habit is a false crutch." She could face a sentence of between 90 days and six years, to be imposed May 19. She advised that if anyone got into the heroin habit, they should reach for a .45 pistol instead of a bindle and blow their brains out. She said that she had been the number one female vocalist in the publications Metronome, Esquire and Downbeat in 1950, singing with Charlie Barnet, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, but that people should look at her presently, that she had an $18,000 home which was now gone, as she spent $400-$500 per week for heroin. She said that the problem had started in Portland about four years earlier when someone had talked her into trying morphine, after which, five months later in New York, she was introduced to heroin. She said she believed that she was cured of the habit as she had not used heroin in three months.

In Winston-Salem, the North Carolina president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, Lillian Misenheimer Causey, was found dead in her bed during the morning at her home, attributed to natural causes.

On the editorial page, "Independence and Ability Pay Off" indicates that it was a good day for political newcomers the previous day, as three of the four top men in the City Council race and the man who led the School Board race were all newcomers to city politics. It reviews the outcomes in the two races.

The black community had been divided over the two black candidates in the Council race, with the result that neither came close to winning a seat. But the support which each had received showed that more voter interest and encouragement of candidates from among the black citizens of the city would give that part of the community the representation it sought and which the black portions of communities in other towns of the state already had.

There had been an extremely small turnout of voters, but, it observes, the city had received a better group of new city officers than most of the citizens deserved.

"Bossy's Uneconomic Production" indicates that improved breeding and feeding methods on dairy farms had resulted in cows giving increased amounts of milk, and that new techniques utilized by cheesemakers were producing increasing amounts of cheese. High Government price supports encouraged dairymen to produce more milk products, and high retail prices discouraged consumers from purchasing them. In consequence, the Government bought up the difference between the butter and cheese produced and that which was consumed, but did not know what to do with it. A piece on the page by John Cooper explained the situation further and provided some of the suggested remedies.

It indicates that there was no better example of uneconomic production, and heavy surplus, than in dairy products, that a decrease in the support price would increase consumption and decrease Government expense. While the Administration had already committed itself to continued high support for dairy products for some months to come, it suggests that the Administration had to match Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson's economic sense with the politically dangerous advocacy of lower price supports for dairy products if the surplus problem was to be licked.

We figured out a long time ago how to get rid of the excess dairy products. Lick the bowl.

"Three Tar Heels Get Pulitzer Awards" tells of Willard Cole, editor of the semi-weekly Whiteville News Reporter, and W. Horace Carter, editor of the weekly Tabor City Tribune, having won Pulitzer Prizes for their efforts during the Klan flogging incidents in Columbus County in North Carolina during early 1952, with some of the incidents having occurred at the behest of an even larger group of Klansmen in South Carolina's Horry County. The two editors had not been afraid of the Klan and had openly criticized the organization and its Grand Dragon of South Carolina, Thomas L. Hamilton. The two editors also had helped local, state and Federal law enforcement agencies in their investigations. The two editors were threatened often in the process, prompting Mr. Cole to carry a firearm when he answered the door at night. Mr. Hamilton had written Mr. Carter a letter indicating that the editor's mind was warped, whereupon Mr. Carter challenged Mr. Hamilton to go with him to a qualified psychiatrist for mutual examination, indicating his belief that it would be a revelation.

In part because of the courageous fight by the two newspapers, the Klan had been smashed in Columbus County, with its leaders and the Grand Dragon put in jail. It was in recognition of this public service that the Pulitzer Prize had been awarded, the first time it had ever been presented to a weekly newspaper.

It congratulates both Mr. Carter and Mr. Cole for a job well done, and also praises Vermont Royster, originally from North Carolina, presently associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, who had been awarded a Pulitzer for editorial writing on a variety of subjects, ranging from prize fights to politics and religion. It indicates that Mr. Royster distinguished himself and his newspaper every time he turned to the typewriter, and that his recognition would draw unanimous approval from fellow craftsmen all over the nation.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Of Ham and Time", indicates that a man with a ham hobby was serious about it, that he would argue for his particular kind of ham, even if he had not tasted it in years, with all comers and at all hours. There was a story that a North Carolinian, a Virginian, a Tennessean and a South Carolinian had been arguing about how long it should take to cure a ham, and that connoisseurs from the first three states had been making the time increasingly longer, until they came to Dr. R. G. Coker of UNC, the South Carolinian of the group, and asked him how long he thought it should take to cure a ham in South Carolina, to which he indicated that he did not know, for in South Carolina, they inherited their hams.

The piece suggests that they had almost quit selling the good old hams in North Carolina and so it was probably time for them, also, to start inheriting hams. In Georgia, they had developed a speed-up process for curing by hanging hams inside a barrel with the bottom knocked out and running the smoke into it through a covered trench, claiming that it then only took three or four days to cure, whereas the old smokehouse method had taken from seven to ten days. It indicates that it did not think anything of that method, as it reminded too much of curing corn for liquor during prohibition days by putting it in a "charged" keg and carrying it around in an automobile over country roads to jostle it, the product having been terrible.

It concludes that the moral was: "There is no substitute for time."

We wish to know how long it should take to cure an egg, and if so, how many per hour.

Drew Pearson tells of the denial by the White House, which seemed to chastise Secretary of State Dulles, following his statement to journalists that in the negotiations of the armistice in Korea, the U.S. might consider placing Formosa under a U.N. trusteeship and the drawing of a truce line about 80 miles above the present battle line, along the waist of the Korean peninsula, having in fact been issued at the behest of the Secretary, himself. After he had seen the reports in the New York Times of what he had said, attributed to authoritative sources, he had phoned White House press secretary James Hagerty and asked him to issue a denial, without telling Mr. Hagerty that he had been the source of the news stories. Mr. Hagerty complied, preparing a statement saying that there was no truth to the stories. There was then a meeting at the State Department to speculate on who at the White House had issued the denial, with Assistant Secretary of State Carl McCardle suggesting it was C. D. Jackson, the President's adviser on psychological warfare and former publisher of Fortune. Secretary Dulles said nothing and did not reveal that he had asked the White House to issue the denial. Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith had suggested to Mr. McCardle that he should not talk like that, as such remarks might lead back to the person referenced.

Ira Gabrielson, brother of former RNC chairman Guy Gabrielson, had called recently on the President, urging him not to fire Civil Service employees. Ira had served for years under the Democrats as head of the Fish and Wildlife Department. He also urged that public lands not be turned over to private interests. The President had responded that he was a passionate advocate of the Civil Service system, but that the Administration had to have control of policy-making positions if it was to maintain the two-party system. He also said that the previous Administration had created an excessive number of policy-making posts, approximately 670, for the purpose of raising salaries. The President, while not endorsing or rejecting legislation before Congress to increase grazing rights of stockmen on public lands, said that the stockmen had to be protected from "unjust" grazing prices.

John S. Cooper, writing in the Wall Street Journal, as indicated in the above editorial, tells of the Government buying up more cheese than anyone, more than even butter. The Government was also about to show the cheese-masters how they could make cheese twice as fast, so that there would be more cheese available to purchase. The plan had been developed by the Agriculture Department's Bureau of Dairy Industry, which would cut the time necessary to make cheddar from 7.5 hours down to about 3.5 hours. None of the details had been unveiled in a speech before the National Cheese Institute by True D. Morse, Undersecretary of Agriculture.

The plan to purchase millions of pounds of cheese was a strategy to aid the dairy farmer, to avoid a glut on the market and lowering of prices. As of the end of March, the Government had purchased 143 million pounds of butter, more than that being purchased by consumers, and had bought 75 million pounds of cheese; but since early April through April 27, the Government had purchased 19.1 million pounds of butter while purchasing 22.5 million pounds of cheese, the latter at the price of 37 cents per pound.

Mr. Cooper indicates that though the Agriculture Department had conceived of how to make cheese more quickly and had proved that it could purchase cheese quickly, it had not figured out how to get rid of it quickly. The executive secretary and chief statistician of the National Cheese Institute said that he did not know how it could be done. He suggested that the Government could export cheese under a subsidy arrangement, whereby an importing country, such as England, could be offered a certain quantity at the regular price and half again as much at half-price. Alternatively, he had suggested a domestic subsidy under a stamp plan, whereby for every dollar's worth of cheese, a householder might be given a stamp redeemable for 10 cents or 10 percent more cheese free for every pound he purchased. Undersecretary Morse believed that one way to tackle the problem was through promotion by the dairy industry, as there was a shortage of milk in the country, that better advertising and sales efforts might improve the market.

The idea of letting the price of dairy products drop had been rejected for the immediate future, with the director of the Dairy Branch of the Agriculture Department assuring the cheesemakers that present support prices for cheese would be continued at least until the following March 31. The director had not given an estimate as to how much cheese or butter might end up in the possession of the Government but observed that the estimates by the industry of 400 million pounds of butter and 200 million pounds of cheese were "a little high". He also said, however, that if present import restrictions were permitted to end on June 30, when a section of the Defense Production Act automatically expired, there would be no telling how much butter and cheese the Government might have to buy.

Mr. Cooper concludes that a cheese factory only had to notify the nearest Agriculture Department Production and Marketing Administration office that it had a certain number of pounds of cheese it was offering and the Department would confirm by wire that the cheese was sold to the Government.

All of which prompts us to ask the solemn question: Were these the times of the best of butter and the worst of cheese?

Joseph & Stewart Alsop celebrate Lady Houston of Britain, dead since 1936, who had frequented the Hotel Cavendish in London, escorted by young RAF officers assigned to her because she had, acting on her own, using her great wealth to do so, funded the prototype for the Spitfire during the early stages of World War II. And the Spitfire had proved decisive against the German Messerschmitts during the Battle of Britain in 1940-41, preserving Britain from the Nazi onslaught which had swept virtually all of Europe, save Russia, into its grasp in 1939-40.

"Quite often, when she had taken a glass or two of champagne above her limited capacity, the coquetry would be rather appallingly transformed into girlish flirtatiousness. Altogether you would have said—and indeed the world did say—that she was more ludicrous than pathetic, and just about as nutty as a fruitcake."

But given the fact that she saved the RAF from being driven from the air by the Luftwaffe, saving Britain and therefore perhaps the world from further encroachment by Nazism, it asks "who seems loony now, crazy Lady Houston, or the respectable Baldwins, Chamberlains and Simons, whose balanced budgets evoked such universally contemporary admiration?"

Marquis Childs discusses the President's reorganization plan of the Defense Department, amid the political backdrop being led by Senator Taft, who wanted to be rid of the present members of the Joint Chiefs, especially chairman General Omar Bradley, whose policies had differed markedly from those of the Senator, especially his views on Asia and the Korean War, which mirrored the advice of General MacArthur to take the war directly to the Chinese Communists.

General Bradley, along with Army chief of staff General J. Lawton Collins and Air Force chief of staff General Hoyt Vandenberg, were scheduled to retire by August 1. That, however, was not fast enough for Senator Taft who wanted the President to name standby Chiefs who would sit in on meetings while preparing to take over formally. Mr. Childs indicates that such a move made sense, and General Bradley had recently advocated it during a radio interview with NBC's Richard Harkness.

Senator Taft ultimately wanted the new team to come up with a new assessment of the military potentialities in relation to national security, presumably to be more in line with the policies of the Senator.

Senator Taft was said to want a clean sweep of the Chiefs, including Admiral William Fechteler, the Naval chief of operations, who had two more years to serve. But to replace him would be interpreted as substituting Republican Chiefs for Democratic Chiefs, putting them in the middle of politics.

Senator Taft had attacked General Bradley on many counts, implying inconsistency in reminding him that when Louis Johnson had been Secretary of Defense, the General had approved a defense budget of 13 billion dollars. Mr. Childs notes, however, that the low budget was before the attack on Korea.

In an off-the-record talk with all of the principals present, the President had spoken in defense and praise of General Bradley and the other Chiefs. Mr. Childs remarks that the President must have been somewhat surprised to learn from a speech by Deputy Secretary of Defense, Roger Kyes, that the Defense Department, though the largest organization in the world, had only a "handful of men whose abilities, knowledge and experience" were up to the task of managing the defense operation.

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